Is there any online resources compiling James Hamilton's Record Mirror charts from 20 years ago?

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I'd like to find the old club charts that appeared in Record Mirror 20 years ago, but I don't seem to be able to find a resource that collates these items and wonder if anyone knows better? I was pointed in the direction of which is good, but only has the general RM charts from this time.

stx, Monday, 27 July 2009 17:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

i might have a few issues from that time in a box somewhere (mostly bought on ebay a few years back), will see if i can find them

unban dictionary (blueski), Monday, 27 July 2009 20:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

seven years pass...

I've started a blog archive of all the disco/dance columns written by James Hamilton for Record Mirror, using transcripts that someone has been creating from microfilm copies of the paper held in the New York Public Library. This person (known only as Shootyourshot) was posting them in the forums of, but these went offline a few months ago and needed a new home. I've added copious YouTube embeds and Spotify playlists, for listening along purposes. All retrievable columns from 1975 are now up, and I've started today on 1976, adding one new column per day.

In these early days, James was writing as much for mobile DJs as club DJs, which leads to all sorts of eclectic weirdness, and a whole lot of naffness amongst the gems. But there are also periodic sideswipes into more interesting genres - and, in today's column, an extended introduction to dub reggae, which reveals impeccable taste.

The blog is at - hope you like.

mike t-diva, Friday, 24 February 2017 17:48 (one year ago) Permalink

Oh, and the club charts are also being posted.

mike t-diva, Friday, 24 February 2017 17:49 (one year ago) Permalink

Did you ever read James' early 1992 reviews of UK hardcore breakbeat and proto jungle tracks in DJ magazine? They were great but I can't find any online anywhere. Apparently he used to count the bpm (which were an essential part of his review) by tapping along by hand. He reviewed stuff like early 4 Hero, LTJ Bukem, Acen and particularly memorably Egyptian Empire " Horn Track". If I ever find any I will post. A sample from memory would be something like " droning near Eastern horns and acid squelches end up mildly subservient to the violent amen drum breaks that race in to crash and spurt their way through this 163.2bpm hardcore rattler". Yes he did the bpm to 1 decimal place! Such a sad loss when he passed away.

the article don, Monday, 27 February 2017 20:42 (one year ago) Permalink

Actually people discussing his very distinctive style here:

wobbly bass hooked lurcher
jiggling, burbling throbber
122-123bpm, urgently striding, piano led thumper

the article don, Monday, 27 February 2017 20:46 (one year ago) Permalink

James always had a particular focus on rhythm, so it makes sense that proto jungle would have intrigued him. Meanwhile, today's column (Jan 31 1976) is the first of three special reports from Billboard's first International Disco Forum in NYC - including, to my surprise, his first mention of beat-mixing, which he had just encountered for the fist time. I strongly suspect that this was the first mention of beat-mixing in the UK press, too.

mike t-diva, Tuesday, 28 February 2017 11:28 (one year ago) Permalink

I remember his pages, and the very long chart he would do. I never heard any of the records mentioned, but as you say, there were loads of musical styles he would do before anyone - Asian disco for one, as well.

The paper did sort of spoil it by running a "comedy" version of an asian disco chart a few weeks later, lots of "poppadom" jokes, and so on..

Mark G, Tuesday, 28 February 2017 13:36 (one year ago) Permalink

It's fascinating to see James introducing some of the key elements of disco/dance culture in such rapid succession within his Record Mirror columns. Within the space of just four weeks, we've had the first mentions of beat mixing (31 Jan 1976), 12-inch singles (14 Feb 1976), and remixing (21 Feb 1976). ("A new breed of engineers who take another producer’s finished record and re-mix the tape to make a brighter version that’s more suitable for play in discotheques.") The world was changing fast.

mike t-diva, Friday, 3 March 2017 11:43 (one year ago) Permalink

five months pass...

@mike t-diva, you are awesome.

stx, Monday, 7 August 2017 19:14 (one year ago) Permalink

I second that emotion.

stirmonster, Tuesday, 8 August 2017 04:05 (one year ago) Permalink

*dimples prettily*

Doing the blog is certainly fuelling my Discogs habit. Top recent discoveries: Cameo "It's Serious" / Norman Connors "Captain Connors".

mike t-diva, Tuesday, 8 August 2017 14:42 (one year ago) Permalink

Thanks for providing the links to info Mike

wtev, Tuesday, 8 August 2017 16:15 (one year ago) Permalink

this is astonishing -- massive props!

dyl, Tuesday, 8 August 2017 16:30 (one year ago) Permalink

I'm doing a new post every other day, and my intermediary tells me that columns are being transcribed through to at least 1989.

mike t-diva, Tuesday, 8 August 2017 19:57 (one year ago) Permalink

one of the few people on earth that could appreciate the Rod Stewart/Scotland 1978 World Cup Squad record.

everything, Tuesday, 8 August 2017 19:58 (one year ago) Permalink

His taste is commendably broad and fascinatingly singular. He picks out a lot of hits well ahead of time, but is sometimes dismissive of future classics (Young Hearts Run Free springs to mind), and raves about long forgotten flops, e.g. multiple releases by his beloved Dooley Silverspoon.

mike t-diva, Tuesday, 8 August 2017 21:56 (one year ago) Permalink

six months pass...

New feature alert: a full alphabetical list, Guinness Book of Hit Singles-style, of all Disco Chart entries from 1975 to 1979, with highest positions and weeks on chart.

I've also tabulated the longest runners in the Disco Chart. The table is often strikingly non-canonical.

mike t-diva, Monday, 12 February 2018 18:37 (one year ago) Permalink

oh God, this whole blog. Spotify black hole here I come.

Jeff W, Monday, 12 February 2018 19:55 (one year ago) Permalink

surprising to see some of those charting so well! and all the older hits randomly showing up, several of which would seem to be headscratchers for disco. i don't suppose enough detail was shown directly on the chart (catalog #s etc.) to ascertain whether those were reissues, special mixes or what?

dyl, Tuesday, 13 February 2018 00:00 (one year ago) Permalink

The chart was more pop-orientated in its earlier years, hence a lot of totally non-disco stuff charted high. For example, even in late 1977, Tom Robinson's "2-4-6-8 Motorway" managed to stay at #1 for four weeks. There was a shift of emphasis in spring 1978, when the number of contributing DJs rose dramatically and the chart expanded to a Top 90. By the end of 1978, the chart was purged of all but the very biggest pop hits, but even these charted much lower.

mike t-diva, Tuesday, 13 February 2018 00:21 (one year ago) Permalink


Andy Cameron
Ally’s Tartan Army / I Wanna Be A Punk Rocker (Klub) — 11 March 1978: 36, 1

Video reach stereo bog (Tom D.), Tuesday, 13 February 2018 01:18 (one year ago) Permalink

People danced to it!

Mark G, Tuesday, 13 February 2018 09:45 (one year ago) Permalink

Laurel & Hardy
The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine (United Artists) — 3 January 1976: 9, 1

mike t-diva, Tuesday, 13 February 2018 10:03 (one year ago) Permalink

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